Coriolis Composites enters long-term partnership with Dutch TPRC

The ThermoPlastic composites Research Center announced this week that Brittany, France-based Coriolis Composites has joined the Center's efforts to advance tape laying and fiber placement technologies for thermoplastic composites.

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The ThermoPlastic composites Research Center (TPRC, Enschede, The Netherlands) reported Oct. 9 that it has entered into a long-term partnership with Coriolis Composites (Brittany, France), a leading manufacturer of fiber placement systems and software. The Center and Coriolis will work together to advance automated tape laying (ATL) and automated fiber placement (AFP) technologies for use in manufacturing thermoplastic composites.

“For us, this is a next step in the forefront of composites technology,” says Alexandre Hamlyn, the chief technology officer at Coriolis. “We’ll use our long-term experience in thermoplastic processing for TPRC's promising projects.”

In prepared remarks, TPRC's general manger Harald Heerink expressed excitement about the announcement and future prospects, noting that "fiber placement is a key technology for us." But he also singled out Coriolis from TPRC's other industrial partners as uniquely qualified to assist the Center in development of a specialized type of ATL, saying, "We think the combination of TPRC experts and Coriolis experts puts us in an excellent position to lead the way in laser-assisted tape placement of thermoplastic tape.”

Although thermoset composites are more widely used, TPRC contends that thermoplastic composites offer a lightweight materials alternative with clear advantages over thermosets in aerospace and other industrial applications. Pluses include greater toughness (impact resistance) and recyclability. Most striking, however, is that thermoplastic composites, which do not crosslink and cure like thermosets, offer the opportunity for postmold remelt at high temperatures. This facilitates efficient secondary operations that are not possible with thermosets, such as thermoforming and novel joining techniques, such as ultrasonic and induction welding.

TPRC was founded in 2009 by The Boeing Co. (Chicago, Ill.) , Fokker Aerostrutures (Hoogeveen, The Netherlands), Ten Cate (Nijverdal, The Netherlands) and the University Twente (Enschede, The Netherlands).

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